New Delhi: The government on Friday announced a five-day state mourning as a mark of respect to former South African President Nelson Mandela, who passed away last night.
The announcement was made after a special meeting of the Union Cabinet, which condoled the death of the anti-apartheid icon.
During the period of state mourning, the national flag will be flown at half mast from December 6 to 10 throughout the country, and there will be no official entertainment.
Mandela, who guided South Africa from the shackles of apartheid to multi-racial democracy and became an international icon of peace and reconciliation, died at his home on Thursday at age 95.
Mandela had spent nearly three months in a Pretoria hospital with a recurring lung infection, and was shifted to his home in September with all intensive care facilities made available to him.
Mandela had spent 27 years as a prisoner in South Africa for opposing apartheid, and then emerged to become his country`s first black president.
He was bestowed with the Nobel Peace Prize and he became an enduring symbol of integrity, principle and resilience.